‘K-Pop fan’ crushes Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle in protest against horse slaughter

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When South Korea-owned Thoroughbred Knicks Go won the famous Breeders’ Cup Classic horse race, an activist slyly stole the show and sent a powerful message to the Korean horse racing industry. Dressed as a K-pop fan of Korean music, this activist was invited straight into the winner’s circle, where she held up a sign with a message that the US media – who broke photos and videos later viewed around the world– couldn’t decipher but Koreans couldn’t miss: “Korea Racing Authority, how dare you turn racehorses into dog food!” “

The K-pop fan impersonator looked like a party girl, but she was there on a mission: to speak out against the Korea Racing Authority’s (KRA) shameful practice of sending abandoned racehorses – some with only 2 or 3 years – at the slaughterhouse. PETA exposed the bloodbath in 2019 with the very first video of the interior of the Nonghyup slaughterhouse. Some of the horses loaded in the slaughter lane were American horses that had been sold to the racing industry in South Korea.

Most American riders look away as they pocket the profits and sell US born horses in Korea, knowing that they will eventually end up on a plate or in a can of dog food. Only the Stronach group, which owns several racetracks in the United States, banned send horses to South Korea after watching PETA’s video.

To make it to the winner’s circle, the activist befriended several top race officials during the most famous race weekend of the year at the San Diego track, including Del Mar President and CEO Joe Harper, who reportedly joked, “I hope that sign doesn’t say, ‘I hate Joe Harper.’ “

To make sure the KRA couldn’t miss the message, “Ms. K-Pop” managed to take a photo with the organization’s own US representative, who couldn’t see the sign.

The PETA investigation has turned the South Korean race upside down. The slaughterhouse and its workers have been prosecuted for killing horses in plain sight, but the KRA must commit to developing a comprehensive retirement program for all horses.

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